Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has decided to maintain the status quo for the southern paua fishing grounds.
Earlier this year, a ministry proposal to open 33 kilometres of coast to commercial paua fishing operations drew a large community backlash.
Recreational divers and others made 2700 submissions on the proposal, and all but 22 were against it.
Mr Guy says ministry officials held extensive discussions with local iwi, recreational and commercial fishers, but were unable to reach consensus.
The paua industry says it is disappointed, but can live with the decision.